European Space Agency

Frequency Hopped Spread Spectrum waveform implementation.


The objective of the project is the provision  of:

  • a commercially-available, exportable, secure, anti-jam waveform that provides a satellite communications capability which is resilient to accidental and deliberate interference.
  • a waveform whose signalling and control is encrypted and so immune to exploitation.
  • a capability that is ease-to-use, flexible and efficient.

 The waveform type will be a Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and it will be implemented upon the Airbus Defence and Space, Software Defined Modem platform.


The key challenges of the programme were:

  • Provision of great waveform flexibility;
  • Ease-of-use;
  • Implementing very wideband Frequency Hopping capability;
  • Implementing the highly secure control and signalling;
  • Support for high-speed comms-on-the-move capabilities;
  • Obtaining the desired level of exportability and market availability.


The product provides the benefits of military secure, anti-jam waveform to Government and Commercial users. Because of this it is fundamentally different to existing commercial satellite modem waveforms such as DVB-S2x and DVB-RCS2. As a result, the product that is complimentary to and not competitive with these existing products.

The key benefits are comparatively low cost, easy to use, easy to manage, easy to integrate with current communications system, flexibility and resilience.


Communications Resilience via use of FHSS with hopping over up to 1.2 GHz;

Communications Privacy using AES encryption of all modem information.

Data Rates up to 10.7 Mbps.

Comparatively low cost;

Support for DAMA;

Standard traffic interfaces;

Standard Management and Configuration interfaces;

Support for User traffic QoS and CoS;

Support for dynamic and static IP routing.

An ability to operate autonomously from GPS or GNSS;

An ability to operate while on the move;

System Architecture

The system will be a hub-spoke, star network. All Management Functions (DAMA, ACM functions) will be managed at the Hub. The Modem Hardware will be the off-the-shelf Airbus DS Proteus Software Define Radios. The network can consist of up 127 Modems. The systems ability to support IP routing, allow it would seamlessly with DVB-RCS2 and DVB-2X based systems taking over traffic when traffic routing has sensed that non-resilient communications systems has been successfully attacked.


T0+6 Months – Demonstrate Waveform Acquisition and Tracking
T0+12 moths – Demonstrate overall capability of Waveform
T0+17 Months – Test Readiness Review of Waveform
T0+21 Months – Final acceptance of all deliverables

Current status

The project is complete


Status date

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 15:10